Ageing: the physical challenges, and not-so-fun surprises

Jan 18, 2022
There are some not-so-fun surprises that accompany age. Source: Getty

It’s been an interesting couple of years. For decades, my body would just hum along like a well-oiled instrument. I would get up, put on my jogging clothes, hit the trails for an hour at a time, come back, have my water, coffee and do my business in the bathroom. All was well.

But things are changing now. My body is not cooperating in the ways it used to. I’m not completely falling apart. I guess my body is just readjusting itself. They say the many things get better with age. But I don’t think this applies to the body.

Let’s go through the daily regiment of things I’ve noticed.

Vertigo

I’m not talking about Hitchcock’s movie. That was a fun ride. I’m talking about the general spin ride that I feel in the morning, and sometimes throughout the day. I don’t even have to have cocktails anymore, because I feel slightly drunk. Sure saves on the restaurant bill!

They say that the propensity for older people to get vertigo as they age increases after the age of 60. I guess it’s a pretty normal thing. When I was young, people sometimes referred to me as a dizzy blonde. Maybe they should refer to older people as dizzy seniors?

Gas

Passing gas was predictable when I was younger. Depending on what I would eat, I could always count on a rear-end trumpet from time to time. But now these emissions seem to sneak out for no apparent reason. Thankfully, my mother-in-law can’t hear very well, so she is spared my flatulent orchestra. But my partner can hear it. She just shakes her head. I guess the body is just realigning itself in some weird way, and I just have to get used to it.

Hearing

My hearing isn’t as good as it used to be. Subtitles are now my best friend when I’m watching a television show. Sometimes I wish there were subtitles when I talk to my partner. It would be nice if a little translation bubble would pop up when she’s chatting from the other room because I can’t always hear her. I get so tired of asking her to repeat herself. And when I do, I find out that she’s usually just talking to herself so I didn’t need to bother listening to her in the first place.

Vision

Sometimes I am referred to as an insightful person. That’s a great compliment, so when I started to notice my vision changing over the past few years, it was a little disconcerting. Don’t you just love trying to read those medicine bottles? How about those microwave instructions? I do have a magnifying glass in the drawer when I need it. I seem to be using it more frequently.

Opening Jars

I used to rely on my partner for opening all types of jars. She was happy to flex her strength, and show me what a weakling I was. Now she’s having trouble opening these jars as well. Thankfully, we have one of those rubber grabby things that helps us grasp the top of the jars and open them a little bit more easily. Maybe there should be an aisle in the grocery store devoted to seniors, with all types of gadgets to make elder living easier. In fact how about an entire supermarket devoted to people over 50? They could call it the AARP Superstore. Inside, you would have all types of products that are designed for seniors. The type would be really large, and the aisles wide. I’d like that.

Balance

When I was young, I always knew where I was in space. Whether I was running, jumping, or just dodging a snappy dog on the sidewalk, I could always count on my body putting me exactly where I needed to be. Not so much anymore. I noticed over the past couple years of my balance is just a little bit off. I tried walking a straight line the other day, and if there was a cop next to me, I probably would’ve been arrested for inebriation.

But it’s just balance. I don’t want to have to use a walker or those hiking sticks just to get around, but it’s just a little unsettling to know that you have to be careful now. Curbs? I always stop and try to analyze the depth of the curb. If I’ve been to a particular location before, it’s no problem, but new terrain? I have to stop and assess it and then take a step. I miss those days of running up the stairs, two at a time.

Who would like to weigh in on their daily surprises?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up